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skin cancer

Prevention and Treatment of Multikinase Inhibitor–induced Hand-Foot Syndrome

Multikinase inhibitors (sorafenib [Nexavar], sunitinib [Sutent], pazopanib [Votrient], axitinib [Inlyta], regorafenib [Stivarga]) block various proteins including vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) and platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR). They have been approved by...

skin cancer

Tremelimumab Not Better Than Standard-of-care Chemotherapy in Patients with Advanced Melanoma 

Tremelimumab did not produce a statistically significant advantage in overall survival compared to first-line standard-of-care chemotherapy in a phase III randomized trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. At final analysis, median overall survival by intent to treat was 12.6 months...

skin cancer

Vemurafenib-resistant BRAF-mutant Melanoma

Mutational activation of BRAF is the most prevalent genetic alteration in melanoma, with ≥ 50% of tumors expressing the BRAF(V600E) oncoprotein. Vemurafenib (Zelboraf) produces tumor regression and improved survival in patients with late-stage BRAF-mutated melanoma. However, most patients relapse...

skin cancer

Trametinib Shows Activity in Previously Treated but BRAF Inhibitor–naive BRAF-mutant Melanoma

In a multicenter phase II study, trametinib showed “significant clinical activity” in a cohort of BRAF inhibitor–naive patients with BRAF-mutant cutaneous melanoma previously treated with chemotherapy and/or immunotherapy. Only minimal clinical activity, however, was observed among a cohort of...

skin cancer

New Data Reported on Melanoma, Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma, Basal Cell Carcinoma, and Cancer Treatment Side Effects 

At the recent American Academy of Dermatology 71st Annual Meeting in Miami Beach, researchers presented interesting findings regarding melanoma and other skin cancers. The ASCO Post brings you the following news briefs on these topics. Melanoma Incidence Decreases among Adolescents and Children...

breast cancer
skin cancer

FDA Approves New Radioactive Diagnostic Imaging Agent to Help Locate Lymph Nodes in Patients with Certain Cancers

The FDA has approved technetium Tc 99m tilmanocept (Lymphoseek Injection), a radioactive diagnostic imaging agent that helps doctors locate lymph nodes in patients with breast cancer or melanoma who are undergoing surgery to remove tumor-draining lymph nodes. Tilmanocept is an imaging drug that...

skin cancer

Alopecia a Common but Underreported Side Effect of Endocrine Agents 

At the recent American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting in Miami, researchers presented interesting findings regarding melanoma and other skin cancers, as well as dermatologic effects of cancer agents. The following is a summary of one such study. While alopecia is a common side effect of...

skin cancer

Sentinel Node Biopsy in Melanoma: Essential or Optional? 

Is sentinel node biopsy in melanoma an essential component of care? Despite a large multinational trial and recently published or updated guidelines, the question is still a thorny one according to experts who debated the issue at the recent meeting of the Society of Surgical Oncology in...

skin cancer

Does Every Melanoma Patient with a Positive Sentinel Node Need More Lymph Nodes Removed? 

When sentinel node biopsy was shown to predict whether early melanoma had spread to regional lymph nodes, it revolutionized care. Before that, dissection of all regional lymph nodes was the norm for most patients. After that, the standard of care became a sentinel node biopsy and then—only if the...

skin cancer

Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer May Be Associated with Modest Increased Risk of Secondary Cancer: Further Study Needed

A prospective study by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital observed an association between risk of second primary cancer and history of nonmelanoma skin cancer in white men and women. The researchers found that people with a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer had a modestly increased risk...

skin cancer

Prevention and Treatment of Acneiform Rash Caused by EGFR Inhibitors 

Dermatologic Events in Oncology is guest edited by Mario E. Lacouture, MD, an Associate Member in the Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York. He is a board-certified dermatologist with a special interest in dermatologic conditions that...

skin cancer

Breakthrough Therapy Designation for Lambrolizumab for the Treatment of Advanced Melanoma

Merck has announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has designated lambrolizumab (MK-3475) as a Breakthrough Therapy for the treatment of patients with advanced melanoma. Lambrolizumab is Merck’s investigational antibody therapy targeting the programmed death receptor (PD-1) that...

skin cancer

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Raises Risk of Melanoma

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease are at higher risk of melanoma, reported researchers at Mayo Clinic. Researchers found that inflammatory bowel disease is associated with a 37% greater risk for the disease. The findings were presented at the Digestive Disease Week 2013 conference in...

Skin Cancer

Trametinib in Unresectable or Metastatic Melanoma with BRAF V600E or BRAF V600K Mutation

In the Clinic provides overviews of novel oncology agents, addressing indications, mechanisms, administration recommendations, safety profiles, and other essential information needed for the appropriate clinical use of these drugs. Indication On May 29, 2013, trametinib (Mekinist) was approved by...

skin cancer

Dabrafenib for Unresectable or Metastatic Melanoma with BRAF V600E Mutation 

In the Clinic provides overviews of novel oncology agents, addressing indications, mechanisms, administration recommendations, safety profiles, and other essential information needed for the appropriate clinical use of these drugs.  Indication On May 29, 2013, dabrafenib (Tafinlar) was approved...

skin cancer

FDA Approves Two Drugs, Companion Diagnostic Test for Advanced Skin Cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved two new drugs, dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist), for patients with advanced or unresectable melanoma. Dabrafenib, a BRAF inhibitor, is approved to treat patients with melanoma whose tumors express the BRAF V600E gene...

skin cancer

MEK Inhibitor Improves Outcomes in Metastatic Uveal Melanoma 

For the first time, a drug has proven effective in the treatment of uveal (ocular) melanoma that has metastasized, according to a randomized multicenter phase II study presented at the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting.1 “This study is the first to demonstrate an improved clinical outcome with any systemic ...

Skin Cancer

GM-CSF Boosts Survival Benefit of Ipilimumab in Metastatic Melanoma 

For metastatic melanoma, the activity of ipilimumab can be boosted by the addition of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF, Leukine), according to a phase II study that found the combination improved overall survival, vs ipilimumab alone. The results were presented at the 2013...

skin cancer

'Spectacular' Results with Immunotherapies in Melanoma Galvanize the Oncology Community 

In the News focuses on media reports that your patients may have questions about at their next visit. This continuing column will provide summaries of articles in the popular press that may prompt such questions, as well as comments from colleagues in the field. Much of the news about...

skin cancer

Melanomas Induced by BRAF Inhibitors 

Dermatologic Events in Oncology is guest edited by Mario E. Lacouture, MD, an Associate Member in the Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York. He is a board-certified dermatologist with a special interest in dermatologic conditions that...

gynecologic cancers
skin cancer

ASCO Impact Report Indicates Strong Interest in New Treatments for Melanoma and Cervical Cancer 

New treatments for melanoma and cervical cancer were cited as the most important subjects of new clinical information presented at the 2013 ASCO Annual Meerting, according to the second annual ASCO Impact Report released recently by Encuity Research.  New treatments for melanoma, with an emphasis...

Breast Cancer
Skin Cancer
Multiple Myeloma
Supportive Care
Gastroesophageal Cancer

New Research Presented in Breast, Gastric, Esophageal Cancers, Melanoma, and Multiple Myeloma, plus Supportive Care 

Attendees at the ASCO Annual Meeting are faced with a major challenge of trying to attend as many important sessions as they can over a 4-day period. Our challenge is to feature the major news in The ASCO Post. In addition to our regular comprehensive coverage of key presentations, the following...

skin cancer

Anti-PD-1 Antibody Lambrolizumab Produces Durable Responses with Low Toxicity in Patients with Advanced Melanoma  

Lambrolizumab produced a high rate of sustained tumor regression when tested among 135 patients with advanced melanoma in a multi-institutional, international, phase I expansion study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine. At a median follow-up of 11 months, responses were durable in the...

skin cancer

'Alarming Difference' in Survival Outcomes for Young White Men with Melanoma 

An “alarming difference” in survival outcomes between young, non-Hispanic white males and females with primary invasive melanoma “highlights the urgent need for both behavioral interventions to promote early detection strategies in young men and further investigation of the biological basis for the ...

skin cancer

Enhanced Treatment, Surveillance Needed for Patients With BRAF-Mutant Melanoma to Prevent Secondary Cancers

Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center suggest secondary cancers seen in melanoma patients who are being treated for a BRAF gene mutation may require new strategies, such as enhanced surveillance and combining BRAF inhibitor therapy with other inhibitors, especially as they become more widely used....

skin cancer

Merkel Cell Carcinoma: Hints of Immune Mediation May Enhance Treatment Options 

Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare but aggressive skin cancer with poor outcomes and suboptimal therapeutic options. With a 46% mortality rate, it is three times more lethal than melanoma, and its reported incidence is rising. “Merkel cell carcinoma is a nasty cancer and we have zero FDA-approved...

skin cancer

Addressing the Key Clinical Questions in Advanced Melanoma 

At the 3rd Annual World Cutaneous Malignancies Congress, in La Jolla, California, Steven J. O’Day, MD, Director of Clinical Research at the Beverly Hills Cancer Center and Adjunct Member of the John Wayne Cancer Institute, Los Angeles, addressed what he labeled the “key clinical questions” about...

skin cancer

Low Risk of Transformation to Melanoma for Biopsy-Diagnosed Mildly or Moderately Dysplastic Nevi 

The risk of transformation to melanoma appears very low for biopsy-diagnosed mildly or moderately dysplastic nevi, and routine surgical excision of nevi with a positive biopsy margin may not be indicated. Patients with biopsy-diagnosed moderately-to-severely and severely atypical nevi, however,...

skin cancer

Indoor Tanning Common Among Young White Females Despite Skin Cancer Risk 

Indoor tanning, defined as using a tanning booth, sun bed, or sunlamp, is common among non-Hispanic white female high school students and young adults, despite risks of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer, according to a study published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.  Using data from the 2011...

skin cancer

Cytokine-Induced Killer Cells Effective Against Autologous Metastatic Melanoma Including Cells With Stemness Features 

In a study reported in Clinical Cancer Research, Gammaitoni and colleagues investigated the tumor-killing activity of cytokine-induced killer cells against autologous metastatic melanoma and putative cancer stem cells. The investigators developed a preclinical autologous model using same...

skin cancer

What Is the Optimal Treatment of Advanced Melanoma?  

With exciting targeted and immunotherapeutic agents now part of the arsenal for metastatic melanoma, which drug should move to the head of the line? Mario Sznol, MD, Professor of Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, has been involved in key clinical trials of the...

skin cancer

Three 'Game-Changers' in the Treatment of Melanoma 

There have been three “game-changers” in the treatment of melanoma, Mark R. Albertini, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, contended at the Best of ASCO Chicago meeting. The first, he explained, was the recognition of different genetic driver...

skin cancer

Sunscreen Use Infrequently Discussed With Patients  

Although the incidence of skin cancer in increasing, “the rate at which physicians are mentioning sunscreen at patient visits is quite low, even for patients with a history of skin cancer,” according to an analysis of data from more than 18.30 billion patient visits. “Sun-protection counseling...

skin cancer

How to Recognize and Manage Ipilimumab-Induced Dermatologic Adverse Events 

Ipilimumab (Yervoy) is a fully humanized immunoglobulin (Ig)G1 monoclonal antibody that binds to and inhibits cytotoxic T-lymphocyte–associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4). It acts as a T-cell potentiator, leading to increases in T-cell activation and interleukin-2 secretion. Ipilimumab is U.S. Food and...

skin cancer

Intralesional Cytokine Therapy in Cutaneous Melanoma: A Call for Clinical Trials

Cutaneous melanomas are mostly an immunogenic group of tumors, but they are also heterogeneous. Therefore, therapeutic specificity and autogenetic approaches are essential to secure beneficial results. The objective of sentinel lymph node biopsy, at the time of diagnosis, is to identify patients...

skin cancer

Ipilimumab Conveys Long-Term Survival Benefit in Pooled Analysis of Metastatic Melanoma Patients

In the treatment of metastatic or locally advanced unresectable melanoma, the anti–CTLA-4 monoclonal antibody ipilimumab (Yervoy) conveys long-term survival benefits, with some patients alive out to 10 years, according to the largest survival analysis of the immunomodulating agent, presented at the ...

skin cancer

Ocular Melanoma Research Fellowship Opportunity Announced

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the Ocular Melanoma Foundation (OMF) are pleased to announce a new partnership to provide a grant opportunity for researchers focused on ocular melanoma, which is diagnosed in approximately 2,000 adults in the United States each year....

skin cancer

Metastatic Melanoma: Encouraging Data Keep Coming 

Excitement continues to build in the metastatic melanoma arena, as novel agents keep upping the ante for efficacy. The following news from the 2013 European Cancer Congress has added to the buzz. New MEK Inhibitor In the phase IB BRIM7 study, cobimetinib, a novel MEK inhibitor, when combined...

skin cancer

Novel BRAF Fusions Identified in 'Pan-Negative' Melanomas Subset May Be Sensitive to MEK Inhibition 

A study by Sosman et al has identified two novel BRAF fusions in melanomas previously considered to be negative for molecular targets. In addition, these “pan-negative” melanomas were found to be sensitive to MEK inhibitors. According to the study, BRAF fusions define a new molecular subset of...

skin cancer

FDA Approves Combination Therapy for Unresectable or Metastatic Melanoma With BRAF V600E/K Mutations

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved trametinib (Mekinist) for use in combination with dabrafenib (Tafinlar) for the treatment of patients with unresectable melanoma or metastatic melanoma with BRAF V600E or V600K mutations. These mutations must be detected by an FDA-approved...

skin cancer

Trametinib and Dabrafenib in Combination for Unresectable or Metastatic Melanoma With BRAF V600E or V600K Mutations

On January 9, 2014, the combination of trametinib (Mekinist) and dabrafenib (Tafinlar) was granted accelerated approval for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma with BRAF V600E or V600K mutations as detected by a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved...

skin cancer
cost of care

Dermatologists Defend Mohs Surgery as Effective and Cost-Efficient With Low Rate of Recurrence

The headline, “Patients’ Costs Skyrocket, Specialists’ Incomes Soar,” aptly encapsulates the theme of a recent article in The New York Times,1 part of a series entitled, “Paying Till It Hurts.” “Oncologists benefit from the ability to mark up (and profit from) each dose of chemotherapy they...

Skin Cancer

Staging of Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Neoplasms originating from skin keratinocytes are increasing in frequency in the United States and include a spectrum of diseases culminating in the development of invasive cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. Although most cases of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma can be treated conservatively with ...

Skin Cancer

Brigham and Women’s Hospital Tumor Staging for Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma Outperforms AJCC and UICC Staging

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Pritesh S. Karia, MPH, and Chrysalyne D. Schmults, MD, MSCE, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, and colleagues compared Brigham and Women’s Hospital, American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC), and International Union Against Cancer...

Prostate Cancer
Skin Cancer

Melanoma and Prostate Cancer: Two Sides of One Coin?

In a recent study, reviewed in this issue of The ASCO Post, Li et al present data from two long- term prospective studies—the Physicians Health Study (PHS, from 1982 to 1998), and the Health Professionals’ Follow-up Study (HPFS, from 1986 to 2010)—both of which suggest a strong association between...

Prostate Cancer
Skin Cancer

History of Prostate Cancer Increases Risk of Melanoma in White Men

History of severe acne, which is a surrogate for high androgen activity, has been associated with increased risk of prostate cancer, and recent data suggest that severe teenage acne is a risk factor for melanoma. Such findings suggest a role of androgens in etiology for both prostate cancer and...

skin cancer

Patients With Thin Melanoma Benefit From Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy

Sentinel node status is “the most powerful predictor” of melanoma-specific survival in patients with thin melanoma, according to a presentation at the 2014 Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) Cancer Symposium in Phoenix.1 As a result, sentinel lymph node biopsy should be considered in patients with...

Skin Cancer

PD-L1 Studied as Biomarker for Anti–PD-1 Immunotherapy

The anti–PD-1 inhibitor MK-3475 (formerly lambrolizumab) is in late-stage trials for advanced melanoma and is also being studied in other malignancies, including non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). An important aspect of Merck’s development program for MK-3475, as well as for other anti–PD-1 agents ...

skin cancer

May Is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, more than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year, with the incidences of skin cancer outnumbering all cases of breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancers combined. Of the three most common types of skin cancer—basal cell carcinoma, squamous...

skin cancer

Genetic Testing Beneficial in Melanoma Treatment, UPCI Study Shows

Genetic screening of cancer can help doctors customize  treatments so that patients with melanoma have the best chance of beating it, according to the results of a clinical trial by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.  The trial, funded by the National Institutes of...

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